Today, Michigan ranks among the bottom states in the nation for key metrics of student learning and success.

Not only is Michigan failing to close the performance gap between Michigan and leading education states, but achievement and opportunity gaps within the state remain devastatingly wide.

This is a moment of sobering reality in our state. Yet this is also a moment of great opportunity.

Michigan students are just as bright and capable of success as their peers across the country. Michigan can do better for all of its students by putting the right systems into place now and committing to making effectiveness and equity a priority.

In our vision, Michigan public schools will be leading innovation on how to support educators to be the finest in the world. There’s much to do to make this vision a reality, and we must get to work.

It took decades for Michigan’s education system to decline to where it is today and it will not be transformed overnight. But in order to provide a better future for all of Michigan’s children, we must begin to take thoughtful, evidence-based steps toward excellence for all students. That is the promise of this moment.

Read The Full Report

2019 Report

This is a moment of sobering reality in Michigan.

It has taken decades for Michigan’s education system to decline to where it stands today, ranked near the bottom in so many important measures for student achievement. And it’s clear that we will not transform into a top ten education state overnight.

But this is also a moment of great opportunity for Michigan. In the last few months and years, we have seen a growing commitment among leaders across the state to embrace a new vision for public education in Michigan. Our new governor has made enhancing public education one of her top priorities; legislative leaders have indicated their willingness to change our state’s trajectory; and business, civic and philanthropic organizations have given strong support to the measures we’ll need to take to become a top ten state for education.

We know what we need to do to begin making steps towards improvement.

Leading states across the country have shown us the way. By adopting data-driven, evidence-based practices, by keeping a clear focus on equity, and by mobilizing the support of a diverse set of stakeholders, Michigan can improve educational opportunities for all of Michigan’s students regardless of their backgrounds.

This is the right moment for all Michiganders to come together, to ensure we make the most of this opportunity to do right by all Michigan students. We can’t afford to wait any longer.

Read The Report

Michigan Achieves! Progress Indicators

To know whether we’re on track with our goals of becoming a top ten state, The Education Trust-Midwest began tracking Michigan’s performance and progress of our P-16 system in 2016, in both academic measures and measures of learning conditions that research shows are essential for equitable access to opportunities to learn. Below, we share our progress toward becoming a top ten education state by 2030, as part of our Michigan Achieves initiative.

We use the best available state and national data to show where we are and where we’re headed by 2030 if we continue down our current path.

View the Progress Indicators

Michigan’s Third-Grade Reading Law

In 2016, Michigan lawmakers pass a law focused on improving reading rates for Michigan third grade students. Known as “Read by Grade Three,” the law requires schools to focus on early reading, support student learning, and communicate with parents about their children’s learning.

The law also requires students to be proficient in reading, before moving into the fourth grade.

Learn more about Michigan’s Third-Grade Reading Law


The Education Trust-Midwest has partnered with Detroit Parent Network to help prepare and equip parents to navigate this complex law. In collaboration with parents, this project is developing tools to help parents support their children’s learning and advance the interest of their student.

Click for ‘Read by Grade Three’ Parent Toolkits

Michigan’s new “A to F” law

In December 2018, then-Governor Rick Snyder passed a law that requires the state department of education to develop a statewide system of school accountability measurements, providing letter grades and

Each year by September 1st, starting in 2019, each public school will receive a letter grade of A, B, C, D or F for specific measurements:

  • student academic performance;
  • student academic growth;
  • English learner progress;
  • graduation rates (for high schools only); and
  • the academic performance of students compared to students in demographically similar schools.

Learn More

Michigan Education Parent Poll

No matter where Michigan parents live, their race or political affiliation, or how much their family earns, they want a high-quality education for their children, and generally agree on what changes are needed to improve Michigan’s public schools. In fact, “improving the quality of education” ranks as the number one issue on the minds of Michigan parents – well above their concerns about roads, the economy or health care, according to a new telephone poll commissioned by the Education Trust-Midwest.

These findings are among the results of a public opinion survey, conducted by  EPIC-MRA and The Education Trust-Midwest of 600 Michigan parents of school-aged children in spring 2019.

View the Key Findings

About This Project

In 2015, The Education Trust-Midwest launched the Michigan Achieves campaign to make Michigan a top ten education state by 2030. Each year, we report on how Michigan is making progress toward that top ten goal based on both student outcome performance metrics and opportunity to learn metrics that signal the health of the conditions that Michigan is creating that
help support — or stagnate — teaching and learning in Michigan public schools.

Since then, a growing number of partners around the state have come to work together to advance the best practices and strategies from leading education states to Michigan, in order to close achievement gaps and ensure every Michigan student is learning — and being taught — at high levels.

Join the movement


Photos by Rex Larsen at Parkview Elementary School in Wyoming, Michigan, except where otherwise indicated.